Introduction to Marine Conservation Cambodia

Created in 2008, Marine Conservation Cambodia (MCC) is the first long-term, non-government organization to conduct in-situ marine conservation & research in Cambodia. MCC objectives include protecting and restoring marine ecosystems, supporting and empowering small-scale fishing communities and engaging with local and national government in the development of sustainable fisheries and the implementation of effective protective regulations. MCC instigated the creation of Cambodia’s two Marine Fisheries Management Areas (the Cambodian equivalent for a Marine Protected Area) in Sihanoukville in 2016 and Kep in 2018. As a result of MCC’s research and conservation efforts, the Kep Archipelago has been recognized as an Important Marine Mammals Area by IUCN and a Mission Blue Hope Spot by Sylvia Earle Alliance. MCC’s ground-breaking research on seahorses resulted in their inclusion in CITIES Endangered Species List for Cambodia. To help curb the rapid declines in local marine resources and destruction of critical marine ecosystems as a result of destructive fishing activities, MCC implemented their Conservation Anti-Trawling Structures (CANTS), which were subsequently awarded the National Geographic Marine Protection Prize for innovation and effectiveness. The implementation of these structures, alongside continued research and active conservation efforts, has shown an increase in marine resilience and biodiversity.

Work place

MCC is located on Koh Ach Seh, one of 13 islands in the Kep archipelago. Koh Ach Seh is a small, self-contained research base, with basic accommodation and facilities. MCC is perfectly positioned to conduct research and implement conservation action almost every day. You will be expected to contribute to the project a minimum of 5 days a week, but the nature of the work means these days will not always be uniform or fall on a classic weekend. Essential SCUBA diving and basic research equipment are provided on the island.

Potential impact of your work

This role presents the opportunity to contribute directly to the protection and restoration of the ocean, and marine ecosystems along Cambodia’s coastline. A chance to create ground-breaking researches for Cambodia (from blue carbon potential of seagrass to successful restoration projects) and make long-lasting changes in management policies while training the first generation of local marine researchers and conservationists. MCC’s previous work, particularly on Irrawaddy dolphins, seahorses, coral reefs and illegal fishing activities, has made MCC on of the main actors for marine related question in the country. However, there are many knowledge gaps about Cambodian marine ecosystems which still need to be filled. Your work will directly contribute to building resilience within the Kep Archipelago’s seagrass meadows, monitoring and reporting on the health of Cambodian seagrass systems and define management policies for the next decade!

Role, responsibilities and expectations

Seagrass conservation and management is still in its infancy in Cambodia, this is why we need you to help us develop this exciting field. A unique opportunity to lead your own research project and be the first to survey unexplored seagrass meadows! This fluid role will incorporate a range of managerial, research and practical responsibilities. This position will involve the co-ordination of the Seagrass Project’s activities at MCC, the recruitment of local and international interns and volunteers, conducting scientific diving, data analysis & report writing, and mapping using GIS. You will also be responsible for leading theoretical and practical training sessions in seagrass surveys and scientific diving; especially to Cambodians (students, government officers, fishers, etc.) who, we hope, will be the next generation of seagrass and marine experts. Life on a small, remote island also requires a commitment to communal tasks and responsibilities. MCC conduct regular outreach and conservation awareness events, which staffs are expected to professionally represent the organisation and its projects. Social media outreach and updates are also expected from staff in a clear, professional manner. The position hand-over and level of responsibility can be discussed upon invitation to interview.

Applicant characteristics

  • Strong communication skills
  • Highly adaptable and self-motivated
  • Ability to work independently but also within a small, tight-nit team
  • Highly proficient in spoken and written English
  • Organised and work well to deadlines
  • Experienced in producing scientific reports (published paper a plus/preferable)
  • Demonstrated managerial skills
  • Relaxed with a professional approach
  • Problem solver
  • Passionate and dedicated

Applicant qualifications

  • A BSc or above in an appropriate subject e.g. biology, marine biology, ecology, conservation, etc. Or appropriate equivalent/experiences.
  • Experienced scientific diver
  • A minimum of Rescue diving (or equivalent) SCUBA diving qualified and at least 100 dives
  • Familiarity with best practices for field safety and low impact principles


A 2-month trial will be offered to the chosen applicant, during this time food and accommodation will be provided. At the end of the two months, or before if you are exceptionally awesome or bad, we can decide together if you are the right person for the project. The successful applicant who is hired after the trial period, for a minimum of 12 months, will be provided with food, accommodation and a salary. The successful applicant will also be expected to apply for research grants to facilitate with funding research and conservation activities.

Download a copy of the job description

How to apply

If interested in this position please send your cover letter and CV to seahorseconservation@gmail.com and mccseagrass@gmail.com. CV’s may be considered but email cover letters are fully reviewed first.  This position is to be filled immediately. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.